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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jun 12, 2009 7:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: rehearsals & Pigpen

I agree that the experience of recording the Terrapin album had a huge effect on the spring '77 tour....as I mentioned before, up to '77 the Dead were rehearsal-crazy - except on occasions like '69 when they just dropped new songs into the setlist as they were written, usually they took time before tours to spend hours & hours playing new songs into the ground so they'd be just-right from the get-go. You can hear that from practically all the early years.

I do have one quibble though, when you say Pigpen was "left behind" by '71....I guess implying that he didn't fit into their music anymore.
I think, on the contrary, his last tour shows him making quite an effort to catch up & fit in. He didn't have to play alongside Keith, but he did. They'd dropped some of his great tunes like Easy Wind & Hard to Handle in '71 - but after that he started writing his own songs - true, Empty Pages was only done once (and Operator not much more), but Mr Charlie, Chinatown Shuffle & Two Souls are hardly negligible, and fit very easily into the early-'72 style along with Hunter's new songs.
My theory is that Pigpen was able to get musically back on track & start contributing his own stuff when he cut down on the drinking and had to rest for a while - and further, that if he hadn't been so far gone, we could've seen more Pigpen songs later in '72. But who knows.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Jun 13, 2009 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: rehearsals & Pigpen

LIA, I guess what I was more concerned with was the style of music Garcia had become involved with while doing all the studio gigs...Brewer & Shipley, Crosby & Nash are a bit of a far cry from the blues. The musical direction in 72, the "year of the cowboy" on tour also seemingly pointing away from Pig.

This is not to say that his contribution went unnoticed, in fact the Europe gigs when both Pig and Keith played are some hot hot shows...(before Donna chimed in.)